Northern Ireland news

Brexit Minister Lord Frost must come to Stormont committee with 'practical solutions to the protocol challenges'

Lord David Frost will appear before Stormont's Executive Office scrutiny committee. Picture by Aaron Chown/PA Wire

LORD Frost has been urged to come "prepared to present practical solutions to the protocol challenges" when he appears before a Stormont scrutiny committee tomorrow.

Colin McGrath was speaking ahead of the British government's senior Brexit negotiator's appearance at the assembly's Executive Office scrutiny committee.

The Cabinet minister will engage with MLAs less than a fortnight after European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic's briefing to the committee on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

At the time, Mr McGrath complained that Lord Frost had so far declined an invitation to speak to the committee.

Last night, the SDLP MLA said he was looking forward to engaging with Lord Frost tomorrow but stressed that his "primary focus will be on drilling down into the British government's proposed solutions to the challenges we face".

"He must come to the committee prepared to present practical solutions to the protocol challenges and outline the British government's plan to promote the unique opportunities for exporters and investors here – platitudes and politicking won't cut it," the committee chair said.

"It also wont be good enough for the British government's Brexit negotiator to disingenuously distance himself from the deal they agreed to, campaigned for and signed."

Mr McGrath said the committee was "not a forum for furthering political disagreements or deepening divisions".

"We all have to cooperate to make the new relationship work for people, businesses and communities here," he said.

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